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Ace High (1968)

I quattro dell'Ave Maria (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Western | 3 September 1969 (USA)
A recently-escaped bandit forms an unlikely alliance with two bounty hunters and an acrobat to get revenge against the people who framed him.



(screenplay), (story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Drake (as Kevin Mc Carthy)
Livio Lorenzon ...
Paco Rosa
Steffen Zacharias ...
Harold (as Stephen Zacharias)
Tiffany Hoyveld ...
Thomas' Wife
Armando Bandini ...
Bank Cashier
Remo Capitani ...
Federico Boido ...
Drake's blond henchman (as Rick Boyd)
Isa Foster ...
Cacopoulos' Woman
Bruno Corazzari ...
Dante Cleri ...
Bankier, playing cards with Cacopoulos
Antonietta Fiorito ...
(as Antonietta Fiorito C.S.C.)


After Cacopoulos (Eli Wallach) saves himself from being hanged on a false charge, he robs Cat Stevens (Terrence Hill) and Hutch Bessy (Bud Spencer) and steals their horses. This results in Stevens and Bessy becoming unwilling allies in Cacopoulus' revenge against the people who framed him. Written by positrak

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nobody beats Caco at his own game, because even if you win...you lose! See more »


Comedy | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for western violence | See all certifications »





Release Date:

3 September 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ace High  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The second teaming of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. See more »


[Cat, Hutch, Caco and Thomas are about to duel with Drake's gang]
Cacopoulos: Wait a minute, wait a minute! Fifteen years, I've dreamed of this moment. Fifteen years! Every night. *Every* night!
Cat Stevens: And so?
Cacopoulos: There's always music. The music of violins. A slow, sweet... waltz. I want music!
Hutch Bessy: He wants music.
[to the casino musicians]
Hutch Bessy: Play it!
Cat Stevens: [the musicians begin to play a Viennese Waltz] Need anything else?
[Caco shakes his head, smiling]
Drake: Clown.
See more »


Referenced in De familie Knots: Omkoperij (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Ravioli and Fagioli Western from Giuseppe Colizzi trilogy with Terence Hill as Cat Stevens and Spencer as Hutch
21 March 2013 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

I Quattro dell'Ave Maria (original title) is an entertaining and amusing Macaroni Western starred by the notorious Italian couple , Hill and Spencer , pre-Trinity and Bambino . Likable Terence Hill and stocky Bud Spencer team up again as the valiant and enjoyable duo . The agreeable crew makes a new adventure movie plenty of fist-play , action , shootouts and entertainment . This fun Pipperone Western deals with our intimate friends in Far West , they're two bank-robbers , the blue-eyes and sympathetic Terence Hill as Cat Stevens and a grumpy and goofy Bud Spencer as Hutch . Then appears Cacopoulos (Eli Wallach) , a cunning thief who arranges to save himself from being hung on a fake charge , as he breaks out and steals Cat Stevens (Mario Girotti or Terence Hill , Massimo Giroti'son ) and Hutch Bessy (Carlo Perdesoli or Bud Spencer) a lot of cash and he also robs their horses . This results in a merry pursuit and Stevens and Bessy turn into unwilling allies in Cacopoulus' vendetta against the people who double-crossed him and accused him to get their loot back . Cat Stevens and Hutch unite Cacopoulus , after that , the trio joins forces with a circus artist (Brock Peters) taking on nasties . Nevertheless , the cruel baddie is still alive and seeks avenge , he is a relentless saloon owner (Kevin MacCarthy of Invasion of the body snatchers) and supported by ominous hoodlums .

This funny story contains crossfire , the usual slight fights and a little bit of action , pursuits and circus spectacle . The humor is based on physical and personality differences of the starring , as Terence Hill is the sympathetic and brave hero and Bud Spencer is the corpulent and hunk man . The movie contains gun-play , action Western , bloody spectacle and fist-fights . The film isn't always good , sometimes is fresh and diverting and on a couple of memorable occasions , it's frankly delicious . Terence Hill as a two-fisted gunslinger and Spencer as a bouncing hunk are good but still not personified the Trinity hero characters . Later on , the 'big time' duo of Spaghetti Western with humor such as ¨They call me Trinity¨, ¨ Trinity is still my name ¨ and sequels as ¨Troublemakers¨ were run out and for that reason were transfered in modern era film , playing the police/action genre and adventures as ¨All the way boys¨ also titled ¨Plane crazy¨ ; after that , they starred the successful ¨ Miami police series ¨, which belong the followings : ¨Crime Busters¨ , ¨Superfuzz¨ and ¨Supercops in Miami¨. However , being the great American actor Eli Wallach from ¨Actor's Studio¨ who steals the show as Cacopoulus , a similar role to Tucco he performed in ¨The good , the bad and the ugly¨ . At the picture appears customary Spaghetti secondaries who played ordinary characters as villains in numerous Spanish/Italian Western as Livio Lorenzon as Paco Rosa , Steffen Zacharias as Harold , Rick Boyd as Drake's blond henchman , Bruno Corazzari as Charlie , Frank Braña and Riccardo Pizzuti ,habitual secondary in Hill-Spencer films . The movie is finely photographed by director of photography Marcello Masciocchi , and of course is shot in Almeria , Spain, location where were filmed hundreds of Western in the 60s and 70s . Evocative as well as atmospheric musical score by the usual Carlo Rustichelli , conducted by Bruno Nicolai , ordinary collaborator to Ennio Morricone .

The motion picture was regularly directed and produced by Giuseppe Colizzi . Giuseppe directed a trilogy starred by Hill and Spencer as Cat Stevens and Hutch Bessy respectively . The first , superior and the best outing was ¨Dio Perdona..¨ with Frank Wolf and Jose Luis Martin ; this second installment also titled ¨Four gunmen of Ave Maria¨ or ¨Ace high¨ with the great Eli Wallach and more camp tendencies ; and the third is ¨Boot Hill¨ with Woody Strode , Eduardo Ciannelli , George Eastman , Alberto DellÁcqua and Romano Puppo . A bit later on , Colizzi again directed Hill and Spencer at an adventure movie titled ¨Più Forte, Ragazzi!" or ¨All the Way Boys" or "Plane Crazy" , USA title . Giuseppe subsequently realized another buddy movie ¨Joe and Margherito¨ with Keith Carradine and Tom Skerrit , being his last movie a real flop titled ¨Switch¨ , starred by Annie Belle , until his early death at fifty years old . The flick will appeal to famous pair fans , in fact , this was the second teaming of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer .

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